Member States face challenges in effectively preserving and sharing information collected from the battlefield. The collection of information by military personnel could serve as evidence for criminal prosecution and is crucial in bringing perpetrators of terrorist offences to justice.
However, this can only be done successfully if the process of information collection is done in line with national legislation and international rule of law standards.
In January 2021, UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB), in close coordination and consultation with Burkinabe authorities, launched a project on facilitating the use and admissibility as evidence of information collected by the military from the battlefield. The objective of which is to strengthen coordination and cooperation between the military and other criminal justice actors in the collection of battlefield evidence.
Under the framework of the project, UNODC/TPB organized a legislative assistance meeting in Ouagadougou on 4-5 May 2021. During the event, the relevant legal framework was analysed to ensure that all procedures conducted by the military when collecting, preserving and sharing battlefield evidence during counter-terrorism operations (as well as cooperating with criminal justice actors) was done in compliance with national legislation and international rule of law standards.
Senior representatives from UNODC, the Italian Ambassador to Burkina Faso and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Justice delivered remarks during the opening session.
Other participants included national experts representing ministries of defence and security, as well as the Specialized Anti-Terrorism Pole and the Special Counterterrorism Brigade. All of whom engaged with UNODC/TPB’s experts in a thorough examination and analysis of national legislation.
UNODC/TPB continues to deliver various technical assistance activities under the project, including joint training and capacity-building activities of all concerned actors in a practical and interactive environment.
The project is funded by the governments of Belgium and Italy.